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Gränsöverskridande varumärkesintrång på Internet – intrångsbedömningen enligt reglerna för jurisdiktion och varumärkesrätt

Carlsson, Tobias LU (2012) JURM02 20122
Department of Law
Abstract
Trademark law has always been territorially limited by its nature which has lead to the situation where the protection, granted to the owner of the right to a specific mark, has been limited to that specific territory. This territorial aspect has proven to be hard to reconcile with the borderless and ubiquitous nature of the Internet. In this thesis I have examined and discussed issues that arise in regard to cross-border trademark infringement on the basis of two different areas of law: trademark law and private international law.

The protection granted to the proprietor of a trademark is the ability to prohibit others from using marks or signs that are either identical or confusingly similar to the mark owned by the proprietor. The... (More)
Trademark law has always been territorially limited by its nature which has lead to the situation where the protection, granted to the owner of the right to a specific mark, has been limited to that specific territory. This territorial aspect has proven to be hard to reconcile with the borderless and ubiquitous nature of the Internet. In this thesis I have examined and discussed issues that arise in regard to cross-border trademark infringement on the basis of two different areas of law: trademark law and private international law.

The protection granted to the proprietor of a trademark is the ability to prohibit others from using marks or signs that are either identical or confusingly similar to the mark owned by the proprietor. The Internet has however created new possibilities for parties seeking to use trademarks, whether it is in the form of a domain-name, the use of so called metatags in websites or as registered keywords in a search engine’s advertising-service. In 2010 the European Court of Justice came to examine cases concerning the latter, where parties had registered keywords that were identical to a trademark owned by a competitor. The court found that such use of a keyword could constitute trademark infringement, if it would have an adverse effect on the functions of the trademark. In this thesis I discuss the scope and other possible areas of use for the case law developed by the court of justice regarding the use of keywords and trademark infringement.

The territorial nature of trademark law has in turn meant that it has been possible for similar or identical trademarks to be registered in two different countries, while owned by two different proprietors. An infringement of the other owner’s right would only occur if the use of a trademark could have taken place within the territory of the other protected mark. This act of localisation becomes complicated when the use of the mark has taken place on the Internet, but the case law that has emerged suggests that there has to be some form of connecting factor in order to link the use of a trademark to a specific territory. One such requirement would be that the website must be “directed” at the country in question.

The difficulty of connecting use on the Internet to the physical world has in turn complicated matters related to private international law. In the thesis I examine and discuss issues related to jurisdictional matters under the Brussels 1 Regulation. One such question is how the rules relating to the assignation of jurisdiction to national courts should be interpreted in light of acts which have taken place on the Internet. There is also the matter of courts being able to provide an efficient balance between the need for foreseeability and legal certainty for both parties facing a legal process. I have argued in favour of a more tempered approach to personal jurisdiction when it comes to actions undertaken on the Internet, given that too lenient rules for establishing jurisdiction could end up as the subject of misuse. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Varumärkesrätten har alltid varit territoriell till sin natur, vilket har inneburit att skyddet som en innehavare av rättigheten ges enbart har varit begränsat till ett specifikt land. Denna territorialitet har visat sig vara svår att förena med Internets gränslösa och allestädes närvarande natur. I denna uppsats har jag utrett och diskuterat frågor som uppkommer vid gränsöverskridande varumärkesintrång utifrån två rättsområden: varumärkesrätten och den internationella privat- och processrätten.

Det varumärkesrättsliga skyddet innebär att en rättighetsinnehavare har möjligheten att hindra andra från att använda kännetecken som är identiska eller förväxlingsbara med rättighetsinnehavarens märke. Internet har dock skapat nya möjligheter... (More)
Varumärkesrätten har alltid varit territoriell till sin natur, vilket har inneburit att skyddet som en innehavare av rättigheten ges enbart har varit begränsat till ett specifikt land. Denna territorialitet har visat sig vara svår att förena med Internets gränslösa och allestädes närvarande natur. I denna uppsats har jag utrett och diskuterat frågor som uppkommer vid gränsöverskridande varumärkesintrång utifrån två rättsområden: varumärkesrätten och den internationella privat- och processrätten.

Det varumärkesrättsliga skyddet innebär att en rättighetsinnehavare har möjligheten att hindra andra från att använda kännetecken som är identiska eller förväxlingsbara med rättighetsinnehavarens märke. Internet har dock skapat nya möjligheter för parter att använda varumärken, vare sig det är i form av domännamn, s.k. metataggar i hemsidor eller som registrerade nyckelord i en sökmotors annonstjänst. Under 2010 kom EU-domstolen att pröva flera mål rörande det sistnämnda, där parter hade registrerat nyckelord som var identiska med en konkurrents skyddade varumärke. Domstolen fann att ett sådant användande av nyckelord skulle kunna anses göra intrång i en varumärkesrättslig rättighet, under förutsättningen att det skadade någon av varumärkets funktioner. I uppsatsen diskuterar jag omfattningen och andra eventuella appliceringsområden för EU-rättens praxis rörande nyckelord på annan varumärkesanvändning som har gjorts genom Internet.

Varumärkesrättens territorialitet har samtidigt inneburit att det inte har funnits något hinder från att liknande varumärken kan ha skilda rättighetsinnehavare i olika länder. Ett intrång i den andres rättighet skulle bara ske ifall varumärkesanvändningen kan lokaliseras till det territorium där skyddet existerar. Denna lokalisering försvåras av Internet, men den praxis som har vuxit fram innebär att det måste finnas någon anknytande faktor för att en handling skall kunna kopplas till ett territorium. En sådan bedömningsgrund är att en hemsida skall anses ”rikta sig” mot landet ifråga.

Svårigheten med att söka koppla samman handlingar som skett på Internet har på samma sätt inneburit svårigheter inom den internationella privat- och processrätten. I uppsatsen redovisas och diskuteras reglerna för domsrätt i Bryssel 1 förordningen och dess tillämplighet på varumärkesrättsliga intrång. En sådan fråga är hur regler om domstolars jurisdiktion skall tolkas när det rör sig om handlingar som har skett på Internet och hur domsrättsregler på ett effektivt sett kan skapa en balans mellan förutsägbarhet och rättssäkerhet. I denna uppsats argumenterar jag för en mer restriktiv tillämpning av reglerna om domsrätt, då en alltför generös tillämpning kan komma at missbrukas. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Carlsson, Tobias LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Cross-border trademark infringement on the Internet - infringement according to the rules on jurisdiction and trademark law
course
JURM02 20122
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Civilrätt, EU-rätt, immaterialrätt, internationell privaträtt, varumärkesrätt
language
Swedish
id
3350168
date added to LUP
2013-01-28 13:10:32
date last changed
2013-01-28 13:10:32
@misc{3350168,
  abstract     = {Trademark law has always been territorially limited by its nature which has lead to the situation where the protection, granted to the owner of the right to a specific mark, has been limited to that specific territory. This territorial aspect has proven to be hard to reconcile with the borderless and ubiquitous nature of the Internet. In this thesis I have examined and discussed issues that arise in regard to cross-border trademark infringement on the basis of two different areas of law: trademark law and private international law. 

The protection granted to the proprietor of a trademark is the ability to prohibit others from using marks or signs that are either identical or confusingly similar to the mark owned by the proprietor. The Internet has however created new possibilities for parties seeking to use trademarks, whether it is in the form of a domain-name, the use of so called metatags in websites or as registered keywords in a search engine’s advertising-service. In 2010 the European Court of Justice came to examine cases concerning the latter, where parties had registered keywords that were identical to a trademark owned by a competitor. The court found that such use of a keyword could constitute trademark infringement, if it would have an adverse effect on the functions of the trademark. In this thesis I discuss the scope and other possible areas of use for the case law developed by the court of justice regarding the use of keywords and trademark infringement. 

The territorial nature of trademark law has in turn meant that it has been possible for similar or identical trademarks to be registered in two different countries, while owned by two different proprietors. An infringement of the other owner’s right would only occur if the use of a trademark could have taken place within the territory of the other protected mark. This act of localisation becomes complicated when the use of the mark has taken place on the Internet, but the case law that has emerged suggests that there has to be some form of connecting factor in order to link the use of a trademark to a specific territory. One such requirement would be that the website must be “directed” at the country in question.

The difficulty of connecting use on the Internet to the physical world has in turn complicated matters related to private international law. In the thesis I examine and discuss issues related to jurisdictional matters under the Brussels 1 Regulation. One such question is how the rules relating to the assignation of jurisdiction to national courts should be interpreted in light of acts which have taken place on the Internet. There is also the matter of courts being able to provide an efficient balance between the need for foreseeability and legal certainty for both parties facing a legal process. I have argued in favour of a more tempered approach to personal jurisdiction when it comes to actions undertaken on the Internet, given that too lenient rules for establishing jurisdiction could end up as the subject of misuse.},
  author       = {Carlsson, Tobias},
  keyword      = {Civilrätt,EU-rätt,immaterialrätt,internationell privaträtt,varumärkesrätt},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Gränsöverskridande varumärkesintrång på Internet – intrångsbedömningen enligt reglerna för jurisdiktion och varumärkesrätt},
  year         = {2012},
}